As an experiment we – Justin and Norberto, two BuzzFeed writers – decided to step out of our comfort zones and take a dive into what can only be described as the Nicholas Sparks zone. There, we would face something neither of us were super familiar with: Zac Efron in a melodrama.
Starring Efron and Taylor Schilling, The Lucky One (2012) is based on the best-selling Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name. Zac plays a marine who finds a photo of a woman (Schilling) while in combat in Afghanistan. After escaping death multiple times, he believes the photo actually saved his life. Upon returning home, Zac sets out to find the woman in the photo.
Spoiler: This is one of the worst movies ever.
We open with a lovely shot of a boat traveling on a river. Zac Efron, in voice over, talks about “destiny.”
Suddenly, we’re thrown into a hardcore battle sequence taking place in Afghanistan.
Justin Abarca: This is like Zero Dark Thirty.
Norberto Briceño: This doesn’t look like a Nicholas Sparks novel.
JA: Zac’s gonna be the lucky one to make it out alive of this gun battle.
NB: This is what it looks like when Zac plays around with a machine gun.
After the battle sequence, Zac finds a photo of a girl.
And then, there’s an explosion.
Eight months later, Zac is riding in a humvee when – surprise! – there’s another explosion.
Somehow, we are now back in the States, watching Zac walk down a suburban cul-de-sac.
JA: Nobody went to pick him up?
Nothing really happens until Zac Efron, who was sleeping, suddenly takes down his nephew who snuck up on him in bed. The kid is horrified.
Zac walks away from home with a dog. Title sequence begins.
JA: Ten minutes of exposition. Could’ve been reduced. Why did he take the dog?
NB: Probably to make the audience like him. “Look he has a dog! This is who you’re supposed to like!”
After asking TWO people, Zac discovers the woman in the picture’s name is Beth and that she works at a dog kennel. He walks into a barn and Beth is standing there because why wouldn’t she be?
NB: Wait, he found the girl already?
JA: It’s the girl from Orange is the New Black!
Instead of telling Beth about the photo immediately, Zac takes a job at the dog kennel with Beth and her grandmother (Blythe Danner). Beth’s grandmother likes Zac because he looks “harmless.”
JA: Zac Efron will forever look 16.
NB: Zac Efron has an easy life. He found the girl he’s looking for and got offered a job he wasn’t even asking for. Zac Efron looks “harmless” because he’s white. What if Zac Efron was black? Would this be the same movie?
Stan from Mad Men appears in a cop uniform.
JA: Hey! It’s Stan from Mad Men
NB: Why is Stan from Mad Men being mean to Zac?
JA: Oh, Stan from Mad Men is Beth’s ex-husband.
NB: That’s why he’s being a prick.
They then go to a fundraiser for a mayor that never has anything to do with the plot ever again.
NB: There are a lot of white people in this movie.
JA: It’s Louisiana. There are no P.O.C.
While walking his dog, Zac talks to Beth’s blonde kid, who’s playing a violin in the woods alone like a weirdo.
NB: Zac looks kinda creepy.
Then Blythe Danner and Zac drive in a truck. There is a lot of driving in this same truck in the movie.
NB: Blythe looks good.
JA: Very pretty.
NB: Never ages.
Beth, Zac, and blonde kid are about to have dinner when they suddenly start dancing.
BOTH: ::Awkward chuckle::
After leaving flowers at her brother’s grave, Beth tends to her garden and for some reason loses her shit. But Zac is there to console her.
NB: Beth went from screaming to laughing to crying and Zac never said a word. He’s completely useless.
JA: That book in the wall in is very Pinterest-y.
Montage of playing with dogs.
JA: More like a dogtage.
After going out for beers, Zac and Beth make out. Zac utters the line, “I want to kiss you every day, every hour, every minute.”
BOTH: ::Awkward chuckle::
Beth watches at a distance while Zac does some heavy lifting. She sensually washes a pot.
JA: The pot is a metaphor for masturbation.
During a power outage, Zac and Beth get frisky. Wait… are they going to have CHAIR SEX!?
However, the electricity comes back on.
JA: Zac Efron was cockblocked by electricity.
After dropping off her blonde kid and getting into a fight with Stan, Beth returns home and has OUTDOOR SHOWER SEX with Zac.
NB: Did they really need to get under the shower head?
Zac grabs Beth’s butt.
Both: ::awkward chuckle::
One hour and five minutes into the film, Zac FINALLY goes shirtless.
Beth grabs Zac’s butt.
For some reason, Stan breaks into Zac’s house, finds the photo, and shows it to Beth. He tells her that Zac is a stalker.
NB: I still don’t get why the photo is such a big deal. Stan is absolutely right about Zac. He is a stalker.
JA: He is dangerous.
Zac explains to Beth how he got the photo in the first place. An epic monologue ensues, where Zac dramatically says that finding that picture of Beth “was like finding an angel in hell!”
Zac leaves with his head down. However, the blonde kid chases after him. It’s at this moment that we finally discover that Zac’s movie name is Logan.
The next day, a drunken Stan stops Zac and his dog as they’re leaving a farmer’s market. He snatches an apple from Zac’s grocery bag, bites into it, and spits in his face. The poor dog just watches like, “Daaaaamn!”
NB: That was awesome.
Drunken Stan goes back to Beth’s to try and woo her. He begins professing his love for her by talking about the plates. “I’ve always loved these plates.”
The kid for some reason decides to run away to his treehouse in the middle of a rainstorm. As he’s crossing a bridge, it snaps, causing him to hang for dear life.
NB: (RE: Kid) That’s what you get.
Zac and Beth arrive to the scene. While Beth screams her head off, Stan heroically saves his child with Zac’s help.
However, the treehouse breaks and falls on Stan.
BOTH: OH SHIT!
After we see the tree fall on Stan, the scene cuts to an ambulance. WORST EDIT EVER.
JA: Is Stan dead!? What happened?
NB: I think he’s dead. The kid killed Stan.
JA: Kid will grow up to be a serial killer.
NB: Stan was a hero. He didn’t need to die. That kid is an asshole.
After Stan’s death by treehouse, Zac says goodbye for the last time and leaves for good. However, Beth has a change of heart and runs after him in slow-motion. They kiss.
NB: This is taking way longer than it should.
JA: Why is she dressed like a ghost?
The final shot is of them riding on a boat. In voice over, Zac talks about destiny or something. The end.
NB: Beth and Zac have no chemistry.
JA: There is no reason to shoot this film in Louisiana other than the tax benefits.
In conclusion, we are both in love with Blythe Danner now.